7 May, 2021
“Volunteering gives everyone the opportunity to use their God-given talents. It transforms lives. And you could be the reason someone’s life changes.” – Linda D’Abreu
From Tuesday to Thursday, you will find Linda at the ADRA Mt Druitt Community Care Centre. Linda sorts through donated goods for the op shop and helps distribute food parcels. And all with the warmest smile on her face.
Linda was born and raised in India, where she discovered her love for administration and working with people. Since then, she has used these skills to serve others. For 10 years she worked for UNICEF in India in an administrative role until Linda and her husband moved to Australia to start a new life. But when the Global Financial Crisis hit, Linda lost her job, forcing her to find a new career. She moved from the charitable sector into aged care, working as a recreational activity coordinator. She worked there for over eight years, organising activities for the residents and getting to care for them. “I loved spending time one on one time with the clients and getting to know them,” says Linda.
Linda was contemplating retirement when COVID-19 hit. Linda was already involved with volunteering at a food pantry in Redfern, but decided that she wanted to commit herself to serving her community. “I wanted to be serving the community,” Linda says. “I wanted to be out there doing something for someone.” Upon seeing an advert in her local church magazine for the Mt Druitt ADRA Community Care Centre, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Linda now enjoys volunteering at the Mt Druitt Community Care Centre three days a week. She finds it “relaxing just being amongst people.” And Linda has found this volunteering experience grants her many opportunities to talk to other people. With the added benefit of being able to speak Hindi, Linda can connect with a broader section of the community.
For Linda, the most impactful memory that she has had would be seeing the community’s needs being met. “I’ve met people who come in here and have felt at ease. Just being able to give people time and a smile make me happy.” Linda encourages everyone to “get involved in volunteering with whatever talents you have. In each of us, there is something; we have to look inside of us and find what it is.”